The competitve games have shown time and time again that they can be some of the most intense, fun and most of all addictive games out there. SpeedRunners has been in a long early access state before the developers finally decided that the game was’ready’. And after being out for a few years now on Steam it’s time for the Nintendo Switch to receive this competitive multiplayer game.
The idea of the game is simple: run ahead, overtake others. Run fast – as fast as you can. Use a hookshot to swing on ledges or grab opponents, throw boxes under their feet, freeze, explode – but never stop. Otherwise, the camera might lose sight of you and you automatically lose.
Unlike regular races, SpeedRunners has no finish line. Four players run round and round until only one survivor remains. The trick is that the screen is common for all players. As soon as one of the sprinters is pulled forward, all the others are closer to the edge of the screen. If you go beyond it, then you lose, and if you stay in them – everything is ok and you can continue running. But over time, the boundaries of the screen begin to narrow and shrink, until they absorb the runners completely.
There is a sense of adrenaline that rushes through you when racing for your life. After all, you feel that edge of the screen on your heels all the time and having those pesky other players around you doesn’t make things any easier. It’s like playing a fighting game and seeing your life dropping every time you get a hit. You edge and try your best to block and dodge incoming attacks, and in this case being faster then your opponent, although being first isn’t always as easy as it may seem.
Since the screen is the same for everyone, a player who has broken into the leader sees nothing beyond his own nose, and therefore it is not easy to stay in the first place. The lagging one, on the contrary, sees what awaits him, and he has more time to react in time. The common screen, which in many cooperative games was only annoying, became a great design decision in SpeedRunners: on the one hand, it helps the leader get rid of his rivals, on the other, it gives lagging ones an opportunity to catch up.
To maintain a leadership position, you have to study your environment and play your best tricks at the right time to make life of the ones ahead or behind you a living hell. And using that hookshot to your advantage in turns is crucial if you want to be the fastest around.
Seeing as how much you can do in the game to use the environment, your hook or items to your advantage. You could say that the game has a tactical flair to it. Because even the crates laying around and bombs placed under your own feet can make for a speedbumb or a delay for yourself or your opponent.
You can practice in the story campaign. It is small (only four stories, each with four chapters), but useful. Here you will not only train your fingers, but also get acquainted with yet another small victory of SpeedRunners – with its world, which recalls parody cartoons about superheroes, such as “Tick” or “Freezoid”.
Nevertheless, SpeedRunners flourishes most flourishing in a friendly company, and if you are a lone runner, it loses a significant share of its charm. When the tracks have already been memorized and all the items are familiar, all you have to do is hone your skills and increase your rating in online races. SpeedRunners ceases to be a game and becomes a competition. And when you run into races with friends, shooting rockets at each other, putting footboards and exchanging fiery witticisms, you don’t think about it and just have a good time.
SpeedRunners is an amazing and fun competitive game both in local and online play. But you will have to hone your skills in order to reach the top of the charts.